Look up to rediscover the Sheffield heritage all around you

A local heritage list identifying assets in Sheffield will prompt locals to dig into the city’s past and get out to rediscover their own neighbourhoods.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 6:00 am
Robin Hughes, of Hallamshire Historic Buildings, at the former Boys Charity School on East Parade.

All too often, we take our surroundings for granted, not realising the centuries of history and heritage which run through our streets, appearing in obscure places, from boundary markers to shopfronts.

Now, through a grant funding the position of Officer for South Yorkshire Archaeological Service and establishing a Local Heritage List for the region, Sheffielders are encouraged to find nuggets of city’s history and nominate them to be included in the list.

Robin Hughes, Trustee of Joined Up Heritage Sheffield, said: “In making a nomination people will contribute their knowledge and research, people may be motivated to get out and find out more about local heritage. It will get people out into their own neighbourhoods to start looking.

Glossop Road baths, which Robin is astonished is not on the national list.

"People have said ‘I didn’t know what there was until I looked up’, so my advice is look up or look around your feet, I noticed a little boundary marker on Carver Street the other day.”

"The list doesn’t have to be big buildings, although buildings will be on there - it can be memorials to people, things or events.”

The local heritage list is designed to reflect the importance of places which have great meaning to their community but are not recognised as significant enough to be nationally listed.

A local heritage listing will also offer some protection to the assets. Robin added: “If something is on the list it gives it more protection in the planning system - it doesn’t mean something can’t be destroyed or damaged but it means it has to be considered.”

Taplin Road former Co-op building tucked away off the main road in Hillsborough.

There are several criteria which an asset must meet to make it onto the list, including age, rarity, architectural and artistic interest, group value, archaeological interest, historic interest, and landmark status.

Robin added: “We are hoping to get a good number of nominations. People can get involved through the website as a first step. You can also get involved with local history groups or trawl through directories. Sometimes there will be places that don’t know about an event or don’t have records – go to the oldest inhabitant in the area and speak to them about it.

"Get started by walking around where you live, go take a fresh look. If you are interested in heritage locally, keep your ear to the ground.”

Sheffield has a long and rich history, dating back to the 9th century AD when a settlement existed in the area, and the city rapidly developed with the industrial revolution.

Carver Street boundary mark – used to mark the boundary between the townships of Sheffield and Ecclesall Bierlow.

Robin said: “When the central library building was opened in 1934 one of the things it had was a special Sheffield room because the people of Sheffield had such an interest in their own history. There is also great support from The Star and The Telegraph, they are always covering the history of our city.”

The heritage list was launched on September 24, and Robin has made a nomination himself – an 18th century stone barn in Worrall. He said: “It’s a great example because it’s not good enough to list nationally but around Sheffield there are only so many of those. We tend to think of Sheffield as industrial but it’s got this rural aspect too.

"Most nationally listed buildings in Sheffield are in the west, I hope we can get a bit more from the north and east - a lot of heritage was lost when new housing was built but they are still places with history.”

Other assets which Robin thinks could be nominated include the Carver Street boundary marker, Glossop Road baths, Manchester Road cozzle wall, and the Taplin Road former Co-op building.

Manchester Road cozzlin wall - The material on the top of this wall is crozzle, which results from taking grinders’ wheel swarf (the waste product from grinding cutlery etc.), then using it to seal crucibles when they are fired.

You can nominate an asset to be considered for inclusion on the Local Heritage List online here: https://local-heritage-list.org.uk/south-yorkshire/account/login?ReturnUrl=%2Fsouth-yorkshire%2Fasset%2Fnew.